�10m being poured in Thames flood defences

FLOOD defence schemes along the Thames are going ahead with cash from the Environment Agency—despite the recession.

The agency’s flood defence committee meets on Thursday to decide which schemes are getting the cash.

The committee, which is made up of local authorities along the Thames including Tower Hamlets, is putting aside �10 million to reduce flood risk in low-lying areas.

“Every �1 spent on protecting communities from flooding saves �8 on repairing damage afterwards,” said its chairman Amanda Nobbs.

“This demonstrates local authority priorities to deal with flood risk—even in the current economic challenges they face.”

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The money is being raised through an existing levy on council tax to pay for “important local projects” which would not get funding from Whitehall.

The list of projects to be funded is being thrashed out at Thursday’s meeting being held today at City Hall.

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More than one-and-a-half million people are at risk of flooding from the Thames and its tributaries in low-lying areas such as Wapping, Limehouse and parts of the Isle of Dogs, as well as neighbourhoods along the Lea River around Bow Creek and Poplar.

But competition for funding is stiff, with schemes vying for cash from Hertfordshire, Essex, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and as far as Hampshire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

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